The jewelry artist of today is not constrained by the conventions of commercial fashion but rather thinks from a place without restraints on creativity. All of the traditional jewelry making techniques may be employed but they are in the service of “out of the box” forms, images and materials. Precious stones may appear alongside a rusty key, scale may be bolder, and design may take on more of a sculptural stance as form interacts with body. As the aesthetic moves away from mainstream conventions, images may not be as “pretty” but rather used to make a personal statement. The jeweler’s stage is broadened to include many diverse visions and the possibilities are endless.
Many contemporary jewelers are incorporating found materials in their work. These objects speak to past experiences as well as an aesthetic sense of color, form, texture and design. As inveterate collectors and scavengers, jewelers revel in manipulating objects, presenting them in new contexts, giving new meaning to what may have previously been overlooked. The castaway is elevated to a place of honor, the mundane becomes precious and materials rusted, worn by age and discarded, are valued for their intrinsic beauty.